The third trimester of your pregnancy is characterized by a mixture of emotions. By this point, you’ve already formed a bond with your baby, and you can’t wait to meet your new boy or girl. But you’ve also endured the physical demands of carrying a child for several months. It’s time for relief. As you hit the home stretch, expect to encounter these 5 things.
Your due date is simply an estimate of when you can expect your new bundle of joy. It’s not an exact science. In fact, overdue deliveries are extremely common. If you’re a few days or even a couple weeks past your initial due date, don’t fret. Pregnancy resource What To Expect specifies the third trimester lasts until week 40. Around week 42, your doctor will likely induce labor.
Baby’s First Transformation
Your baby goes through several important milestones in this trimester. His or her eyes open for the first time, the bones reach their final stage of development, the nervous system forms, hair and fingernails grow, and this is when he or she will gain the most weight.
It isn’t just your baby going through changes during this time. You’ll feel it too. You’ll start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions aren’t the real thing, and you won’t notice a pattern or any increase in strength. They’ll pop up after you’ve had an active day, and they’ll go away if you simply change positions or use the bathroom. Real contractions will keep intensifying no matter what you do.
Other Changes in Your Body
The third trimester might be the roughest on your body. From an achy abdomen to heartburn to varicose veins and stretch marks, you could find that various parts of your body are in pain or are changing. This is normal, and there’s no need for alarm.
Signs of Labor
Towards the end of your pregnancy, around week 36, you should start looking out for signs that your little guy or girl is ready to make a debut. These symptoms include your water breaking, true contractions, and the baby’s shifting and dropping on your pelvis.
Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing time. The third trimester is the most active and affecting. As long as you know what to look for, nothing will surprise you.
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